Baptism of fire for DeMbare as PSL returns

15 Feb, 2022 - 00:02 0 Views
Baptism of fire for DeMbare as PSL returns DeMbare

The Herald

Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter

HARARE giants Dynamos’ January squad makeover will run into an immediate test as they have an interesting fixture programme ahead of them on their return to Premiership football. 

The Glamour Boys are set to face champions FC Platinum before engaging Chicken Inn and team of the moment, Bulawayo Chiefs, in their next three games. 

The team has been hard at work during the two-month break that was necessitated by the festive holidays and the AFCON tournament that was held recently in Cameroon. 

DeMbare did not have the kind of performance they had anticipated despite winning two games against Yadah and newboys Cranborne Bullets and losing to Triangle in their opening three fixtures. 

Buoyed by the sound financial backing from their principal sponsors Sakunda Holdings, it was not surprising they were one of the most active clubs during the current transfer window. 

DeMbare made their intentions known when they opened the purse for more than half a dozen new signings to bolster the project that was started by Tonderai Ndiraya three years ago. 

Dynamos have already made seven signings this window after taking on board Ralph Kawondera, Keith Murera, Brendon Mpofu, Evans Katema as well as three foreigners that include two Ghanaians Emmanuel Paga and Martin Ofori; and Nigerian Alex Orotomal. They are looking to unveil a new goalkeeper to complement Taimon Mvula. 

DeMbare had a bye when the Premiership returned at the weekend with some interesting results for the teams that they are set to face in their next three assignments. 

Ndiraya’s men are set to travel to Mandava for their next game. They won on their last trip to FC Platinum in 2019. 

But before that, Zvishavane had for a long time proved a difficult destination for the Glamour Boys who had last collected maximum points there in 2012. 

DeMbare will travel to Zvishavane at a time the platinum miners are still smarting from the shock 0-2 defeat at the hands of Bulawayo Chiefs at Luveve on Sunday. 

Goals from newboy Obrey Chirinda and Mthokozisi Msebe flattened the three-time defending champions. 

FC Platinum, who have embarked on a renewal phase by infusing young blood into their project, appeared lightweight on Sunday, as they have lost a number of experienced players during the January transfer window. 

The absence of old horses like Silas Songani, who has returned to Europe after signing for a club in Iceland, Ralph Kawondera who moved to Dynamos, Stanley Ngala and Rahman Kutsanzira to Highlanders, Kelvin Madzongwe to Bulawayo Chiefs, Denzel Khumalo to Chicken Inn, Donald Dzvinyai to Harare City, could be felt. 

And, some of their former players like Madzongwe, Perfect Chikwende and the Moyo twins Kevin and Elvis, who are now in the books of a modest side like Bulawayo Chiefs, on Sunday reminded them of the competition they should expect in defence of their title. 

The platinum miners, who have promoted a number of young players from their development system, have been unusually quiet during the transfer window. It will be key how they fare against Dynamos in their next match. 

DeMbare are one of the teams to look forward to this season, having forged a three-year marriage with energy giants, Sakunda Holdings. 

After FC Platinum, Ndiraya and his men have another challenging task in their hands against Joey Antipas’ Chicken Inn at home. 

The Gamecocks resumed their campaign with a 3-0 thrashing of newboys Tenax at the weekend. 

Chicken Inn strengthened their team during this transfer window by bringing on board ex-Highlanders midfielder Denzel Khumalo, who has been in the books of FC Platinum in the last two seasons, Richard Hachiro from CAPS United and highly-rated forward Malvin Hwata from Cranborne Bullets, among their new signings. 

Hwata made an instant impact with a brace at the weekend, while Brian Muza sealed victory for the 2015 PSL champions.

DeMbare are also likely to play Bulawayo Chiefs before the end of the month.  Chiefs, who have returned with renewed ambitions this season, have shaken the market with a host of new signings lately. 

They are a virtually new-look outfit with the likes of Madzongwe, Chirinda, Chikwende, veteran striker Obadiah Tarumbwa and the Moyo twins.

They have also unveiled Ghanaian Dela Arkoli among the new players that Portuguese coach Nilton Terroso will work with this season.

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